Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

The Fall of Admiral George B. McFallon

I know that the resignation of a combatant commander who has publicly challenged the policies of his commander-in-chief is not nearly as riveting as the resignation of an arrogant, self-righteous, nanny-state Democratic governor who seeks out sex with prostitutes, but in the greater scheme of things, the former story is more consequential.

Yesterday, Admiral William Fallon, commander of US Central Command, stepped down after an article in Esquire made it very clear that he was actively undermining the Bush adminstration policy in the Middle East, especially with regard to Iran.

In a piece posted on the Daily Standard website of The Weekly Standard, I address this issue. I contend that as commander of CENTCOM, Fallon acted in a way that exceeded his authority and had Fallon not stepped down, the president would have been perfectly justified in firing him, just as Abraham Lincoln fired Maj. Gen. George B. McClellan, as Franklin Roosevelt fired Rear Admiral James O. Richardson, and Harry Truman fired Gen. Douglas MacArthur.

Discussions - 5 Comments

"Undermining Bush administration policy"

Well I guess that is the pro-war, interventionist spin. Another outlook might be that one of the few saner heads who was attempting to slow down our rush to war has now been neoconed out of the way? God help us all now.

I do not think it is coincidental that the generals are often more dovish than the armchair warriors. (That designation does not apply to Dr. Owens.) How on earth is our already overextended military going to fight a war against Iran, a country that is much larger, more populous and more sophisticated than Iraq? The pro-Iran war folks need to at least be honest and admit it will require a draft.

I think you need to read the article, Red.

While reasonable people can disagree over the wisdom of military action against Iran or any other adversary, the decision to take such action lies with civilian authorities, not with a military commander.

It's not Fallons place to "slow down our rush to war". (Which seems to be the slowest "rush" in human history.)

I did read it. I agree that Generals shouldn't in general intentionally undermine Administration policy, but they are the people who should know best what our capabilities are. I honestly think Fallon sees impending disaster. It is not clear when he commented about people beating the drums for war that he was talking about the Administration per se. (That would have been bold.) I interpreted that to likely mean pro-war elements inside the administration and elsewhere. A little internal joisting. Sort of a "Shut the Hell up and quit making my job difficult" kind of remark.

On the other hand, Generals should not be massaging the facts to tell the President what they want to hear. Allegedly Fallon was very critical of Petraeus because he thought he did just that. So you need something between an obstructionist and a toady.

I will add that Adm. Richardson was correct - FDR was intentionally trying to provoke Japan and he got his war that he wanted. So good for Richardson for standing up to the war drum beaters of his day.

The rush to war was at a turtle's pace, telegraphing all of our intentions and ensuring that the entire world knew our positions and the general start time of the war.

For anyone to use that line means one is not arguing honestly.

Now, more on topic, what happened to that general who crossed into China during the Korean conflict?

Yep, sacked.

And, how true is this article?

For anyone to use that line means one is not arguing honestly.

Dale, I assume that comment was aimed at me. If you don't think there are people who think we should attack Iran sooner rather than later then you haven't been listening. The fact that war is "on the table" at all for us to prevent another sovereign nation from acquiring a weapon is inherently bellicose. What would you think if some foreign country was trying to tell us what kind of weapon we could have and if we didn't abandon the program a military option is "on the table?" That is after you got done telling them where they could put their table. The whole enterprise of us meddling belligerently in the affairs of other countries is inherently a rush to war.

The other day on C-SPAN I watched Woolsey addressing the American Foreign Policy Council saying that Iran could be months, at the most a couple of years, away from a bomb. Even after the recent intel report, they still have the gall to peddle such blatant lies. Sorry, but Woolsey is rushing us to war. The AFPC is rushing us to war. At the very least they are rushing us to an illegitimate interventionist saber rattling foreign policy.

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